Archaeological evidence, as well as information from myths and legends, shows that in a variety of Celtic settings, the center was the most cosmological point. Temples and ritual sites seem to have been focused on a central point or area, and sacred characters are described as ceremonially walking around objects or having encounters in the center of groves or plains. This observance of the sacred center is a very common ritual feature in many primal cultures, including those that practice shamanism. The concept of the center is preserved in an Irish folk saying: Where is the middle of the world? The answer: “Here” or “where you are standing.”
Sharon Pace MacLeod, Celtic Myth and Religion, p. 14
In much of American culture, we foster the idea that self-centeredness is a bad thing. By that, we mean that focusing our energy on ourselves to the exclusion of all else is ultimately harm-causing. That becomes more transparent when we realize the power and truth of our seventh principle–the interdependent web of all existence.
I don’t exist alone or without connections to other beings, past, present or future. Concerns and actions around climate change, or taking environmental justice seriously, for example, are not idealistic ideas. In fact, they are deeply connected in every breath I take, every drop of water and bite of food I consume. People I love, people I know, people I don’t know and all kinds of beings human and otherwise not even born yet depend on how you and I choose to act and think today with regard to the Earth’s resources and our engagement with them.
Where is the center? It is here. Where I am. And it is there. Where you are. Each day, if we can start there, in our center, and allow ourselves to feel all the connections we have, all those we know and can imagine, we will move out and through the rest of our day, and the rest of our days, and the rest of our life in ways that are filled with truth and meaning. Our center, here, will have touched everything with intention and have an effect.
Wow! Love this perspective on where “the center of things” really is!!
The idea of being “self centered” has always alluded me because it seems you can’t be both ego centric while being open to the dynamics of life surrounding you. You can’t be self centered and also be aware of the expansive web and your place in humanity. They are 2 different dynamics. But, Dynamics is a key term here because awareness is a dynamic principle. Being Aware is a Verb, always shifting , never static. I perceive my place ” in the web” ( the bigger picture) and it anchors me in such a way that I can interact with the people and events in my little orbit of life. It is through this interchange/ interaction that I can recognize my personal significance as well as working toward inclusion. The work is dynamic, everyday, all day long. Thanks for your post on “Here”. Your posts always inspire me to look and see again.
I enjoy the comments. They really help create a conversation.